Print multiple colors using separate gcode files

I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around my particular problem.

i have an old Macbook Pro. Cura crashes / beach balls around 2-3hrs into the print. If the print is left to complete, it prints perfectly fine. However, Cura is inoperable.

I’m printing an object I want to print in Black (PLA), Red (PLA), Yellow (PLA), Black (PLA) sections. If this object was going to be under 2 hours, I’d watch it, pause, swap filament, resume, repeat as needed. Unfortunately, since this piece will take about 6 hours, I can’t swap filament past the Red portion because by then Cura Beach balls.

I have the gcode and I split it up by layers so the four files theoretically print the color widths I want. But, I have NO IDEA what to do with the “Start” and “End” gcode so the print does not go through wiping, auto leveling, after the first Black section or cool down for the Black, Red or Yellow sections.

Any advice (short of new computer) would be appreciated.

It sounds like you’d be able to do what you wanted if you could interact with the printer throughout the printing process. You may be able to use an alternative printer host software like OctoPrint to pause and resume the print to help eliminate some variables. You can also try the Cura 2 LulzBot Edition Beta from to see how that compares on interaction during longer prints.

Each gcode file will have the same start and end gcode if sliced with the same slicing profile. As for stitching together the gcode files it will be hard to make recommendations without seeing how the parts are modeled in relation to each other. Are you able to share your gcode files or some images?

Thanks Orias.

I can’t get Cura 2 to work on my 2009 Macbook Pro - it just wont recognize that the printer via the USB cable.

Can Octoprint be installed on a laptop? I’ve been pondering Raspberry Pi solution for having to keep my computer attached all the time.

Here’s the gcode. I tried to use the “Pause at Height” Plugin, too. But knowing that the the software will freeze after ~2-3hrs I didn’t give it a try as “Resume” wouldn’t be helpful.

I tried printing one after another but without the “Probing” part of the gcode, the Z height is off by several mm and the next color just starts printing in air.

Gcode of object, unaltered.

Gcode w/ pause at height plugin
Pause at 16.5mm
(swap filament color)
Pause at 23.3mm
(swap filament color)
Pause at 30.5mm
(swap filament color)

I have done it before in a virtual environment on the laptop. There is a guide on the Wiki Here that shows what you need to load/install and get it running.

Cool. Unfortunately, no windows machines or licenses available. I may be able to scrounge up a low powered netbook and see if Linux install would work.

Hmm…may give this a go this weekend:

Octoprint on Mac